This week for our Find 5 Friday we were encouraged to find mentors/allies/organizations that can help us with our wobbling. Below are some of the people/resources I have found to help me along my journey.
1.) Jen Goldberg – @jaguar22
Jen is our elementary technology specialist for our district and someone that I have recently become more connected to. Jen has a very diverse background in technology and she provides a great deal of instruction and resources to our district on how to implement and use technology effectively. I have always known that she is a resource within our district, but I have more recently realized that she is well connected within the Mongtomery County technology scene as well as across the state of Pennsylvania. I included her twitter handle here because she is someone I have recently started following on Twitter and I have realized that she constantly posts about technology in the classroom and provides a lot of great resources to her followers about how to integrate technology into the curriculum via STEM. She is someone that I am glad I have made a closer connection with and someone I look forward to continuing to work with while in my district.
2.) PETE&C – Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo and Conference – Hershey, PA https://www.peteandc.org/
This is a conference that I recently attended for 2 days in Hershey, PA. This conference (as you can see from the title) is all about technology and how to best integrate it into the PA curriculum. I have attended this conference for 3 years now and I feel like every year I come back with more to do and more to learn than ever. This conference has really helped me through my wobbling because it encourages me to push myself in my use of technology in the classroom. After this conference I always bring back ideas to my classroom that I wobble with for a little while and then eventually get steady and start to flow with. Like last year when I started to use Kahoot in my classroom. Kahoot was something I learned at PET&C and I struggled to implement effectively in my classroom at first. However as I wobbled through the process, I got better and better at using the program effectively and now I feel like I often feel flow when using Kahoot because I am so comfortable and familiar with it. However, whenever I attend PETE&C I inevitably experience the wobble again as I learn new ideas and ways of incorporating technology into my teaching. This conference has really provided me a strong sense of the P/W/F and it is something I look forward to each year.
3. PAECT – http://www.paect.org/
PAECT (Pennsylvania Association for Education Communications and Technology) is an organization that runs throughout the state of Pennsylvania. This organization focuses on helping teachers professionally connect to one another and discuss best practices for using technology in the classroom. This is an organization that I have just recently become a member of (the Southeast region) at PETE&C and one that I am very excited about. People at PETE&C talked very highly of the professional opportunities and connections that exist within the organization and it is one that I look forward to exploring more in the next few weeks and months!
4. Arcadia STEM Cohort 1 – Lower Merion
While this is not a professionally organized group, the Arcadia STEM Cohort 1 is a group of teachers from Lower Merion (and other surrounding districts) that have all worked together to earn their STEM certificate through Arcadia University. While membership into this group is not formal (there is no official organization) I have found it to be one of the most successful partnerships I have acquired since becoming a teacher. This group of teachers not only studied together for 2 full years, but we traveled together to Italy to spend a week exploring the concepts of STEM and how they are integrated into society. This cohort of people are brilliant and push me to wobble each and every day in my classroom. As we learned alongside each other for two years we were in constant wobble-mode, trying to figure out how to best incorporate all that we were learning about STEM into our classroom. Though our program is officially over, this cohort continues to meet on a monthly basis to continue discussing STEM integration and push each other to find new and creative ways to incorporate STEM into our teaching.
5. Traci Blazosky -@kti_Traci – Ktitraci.weebly.com
This is an educator that I met this past week at PETE&C and someone that I look forward to following and learning from in the future! Traci is a 4th grade teacher in a district outside of Pittsburgh that does not have a lot of funding for technology in their budget. Despite a lack of budget, I was impressed with Traci’s ability to integrate technology into the classroom in an effective way. Through the use of grants and donations, Traci has acquired 4 iPads in her classroom and though 4 may not seem like a lot, she is able to do a ton with them. I am impressed with Traci’s ingenuity and I look forward to following her project ideas and using some of her great resources to continue to wobble through integrating STEM into my classroom.